A Festival of Contemporary Musical Arts: November 12-22, 2022

This upcoming week, the CMA department hosts the CMA 50th Anniversary Festival on the NEC campus, with many events open to the public. 

CMA50 logo

NEC’s groundbreaking Contemporary Musical Arts program (formerly known as Contemporary Improvisation) is one of the most unique and distinctive programs in the conservatory world, offering an innovative training ground for adventurous musicians who thrive in the space between genres and beyond boundaries. 

As the program celebrates 50 years, the CMA department is hosting a variety of events paying tribute to their history and looking to the future while sharing their perspectives with the larger Boston community and arts world. This upcoming week, starting on November 12 and running through November 22, the CMA department hosts the CMA 50th Anniversary Festival on the NEC campus, with many events open to the public. 

With a variety of events ranging from master classes for NEC students featuring luminaries such as percussionist Jamey Haddad to events honoring department co-founders, MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Ran Blake and Gunther Schuller, and a highlight concert “CMA: Pushing the Limits” on Tuesday, November 15, which spans decades of contributions from faculty and alumni, there is something for everyone who loves engaging with innovative musical ideas. 

Learn more about this week’s events at the link and also check NEC’s concert listings to get involved! And be sure to stay tuned for even more to come from CMA this year. 

Interested in applying? There’s still time before December 1! Learn more at necmusic.edu/apply.

Hankus, Eden, Janice at GBH Studios
From left: Hankus Netsky, Eden MacAdam-Somer and Janice Octavia Allen of the New England Conservatory's Contemporary Musical Arts department perform at the Boston Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.
Photo by Andrew Hurlbut, NEC

Talking CMA at GBH Studios on Boston Public Radio

This past week, CMA department co-chairs Hankus Netsky ’76, ’78 MM and Eden MacAdam-Somer ’13 DMA joined alumna Janice Octavia Allen ’99 at the GBH studios in Boston on November 10 for a wonderful showcase of the CMA approach to music-making on the “Boston Public Radio” show.

As Eden reflected during their discussion, 

“There’s no other place that people are doing what we do… where students are getting a very disciplined approach to taking their creative energy and harnessing it. It’s a really wonderful, holistic approach to learning music, and to playing music, and you get to be with these incredible artists day in and day out – it sort of feels like being at a really incredible music festival all the time.”

Be sure to check out this great playlist at JazzTimes of selections from Hankus and Eden of some of their favorite music from CMA alumni over the years! 

Learn even more about the Contemporary Musical Arts program at NEC.